1420. The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller

Each blade of grass has its spot on earth
whence it draws its life, its strength;
and so man is rooted to the land from which
he draws his faith together with his life.
~Joseph Conrad

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In what I assume was a poetic conversation with the Lord, Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American lyrical poet, said “God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on Thy heart.” In another instance, a Quaker and itinerant preacher named Elias Hicks wrote that “the fullness of the godhead dwelt in every blade of grass.” And Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish satirical writer and teacher rhetorically asked, “To us also, through every star, through every blade of grass, is not God made visible if we will open our minds and our eyes.” Like me, these writers realize that man was meant to be “rooted to the land and therefore to God.” Sadly, however, in today’s world because many no longer live close to the land, the “umbilical cord,” as it were, that used to connect all humanity to the land and God has been severed. In fact there are some who have never even been close enough to the land to reach down into earth’s hallowed ground, and one simply cannot grow roots to connect to concrete and steel or find anything sacred or nurturing in them. Thankfully though, in an effort to reconnect people with the land and to provide healthier food for the residential inner city dwellers of this country there are those who are finding places to build community gardens so that people get involved in caring for the land and reaping harvests from it once again. Equally good is the fact that a fair share of schools across the nation are incorporating habitat gardens into the learning experiences of their students. As a whole we may no longer live in a primarily agrarian society, but as always God helps His children find ways to remain connected to His good earth and to Him. For there is something so very holy in picking the “fruit” of one’s labors in the soil and putting it in the mouth; it is the biblical “manna” that not only feeds the belly but also feeds the soul.

Every blade of grass
 has its angel
that bends over it and
whispers, 
“Grow, grow!”
~The Talmud

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You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. ~Psalm 65:9-13 ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Pixabay

1363. It’s a greenin’ and a colorin’ up as old man Winter slowly goes back from whence he came…

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time-
a day to begin transforming
winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.
-Adrienne Cook

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As it is now, the last few days of winter are looking pretty magical themselves, if you ask me. Color has returned to the earth in places and the grass is greening, and so St. Patrick’s Day has indeed brought enchantment, brilliant and splendid. And where there are but few flowers yet, there is the promise of more of them. And where there are no fruits yet, there is the promise of them. And where there is not food from crops yet, there is the promise of such. Relying on the faithfulness of God’s promises, today and always, we can ask, as did St. Patrick:

As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. Amen.
-St. Patrick, Patron of Ireland.

I pray all of you have a very blessed weekend. and that pray wherever there are clouds of darkness in your life, an awareness of the reliability of all God’s promises produces more than enough light to shoo them away.

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. ~Numbers 23:19-20  ✝

**All photos taken by Natalie

1290. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench the inner light of providence. ~John O’Donohue

Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit
that secretly links it to everything else.
~John O’Donohue

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There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. ~John O’Donohue

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. ~Psalm 128:2  ✝

**All quotes via TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US, A Book of Blessings, by John O’Donohue; photo of Moonflower taken by Natalie

1288. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We did it…

‘tis almost mid-autumn and the last day of this month!
And as of today we’ve set a record here for having
the warmest October ever! The wind yet blows from
the south so I’m still wearing tank tops and shorts!
Yay! Yippie! Hooray! NOT!!! Where oh where
is our cool autumn for goodness sakes!

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O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air–
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat–
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
~Hilda Doolittle

And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. ~Luke 12:55  ✝

930. The spirits of the air live on the smells of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round the gardens, or sits singing in the trees. ~William Blake

And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm,
Thou must breathe in spirits calm.
~Caroline May

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I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colours are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content. ~Lin Yutang

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. ~Leviticus 26:4  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

893. . The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere. ~Empedocles

The moon is most happy
When it is full.
And the sun always looks
Like a pernfectly minted gold coin
That was just polished
And placed in flight by God’s playful kiss.

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And so many varieties of fruit
Hang plump and round
From branches that seem like a sculptor’s hands.
I see the beautiful curve of a pregnant belly
Shaped by a soul within,
And the earth itself,
And the planets and the spheres–-

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I have gotten the hint:
There is something about circles
The Lord likes.
~Hafez, 14th century Persian Poet

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. ~Isaiah 40:22  ✝

He drew a circle that shut me out– heretic, rebel, a thing to flout–
but Love and I had wit to win, we drew a circle which took him in…
~Poem by Edwin Markham sent to me by Julie Cook at:
http://cookiecrumblestoliveby.com

**Images via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

816. There is no spot of ground, however bare and ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight. ~Gertrude Jekyll

Eeny meeny miny moe
which roses now do I grow…
There are red ones, pink ones,
very, very bright yellow ones,
spotted ones, striped ones,
and 
even two-toned ones.
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Then there are the apricot
colored ones, and the purplish ones,
the small ones and the big ones,
the old ones and the new ones,
and so, my oh my, how will I ever
choose the ones I want to plant
this time around?
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A tree had to be felled along our north fence last fall, and as a result what used to be a relatively shady, and somewhat overgrown and unruly area, is now getting lots and lots of sunshine, so much so in fact that the white azaleas that were planted along there decades ago have all but died now. As sad as they may be it grants me the fun of new ground to be “tamed.” Thus, despite the dreadful heat I’ve been working early in the morning and/or at dusk doing as much as the “taming” as I can do. Now it’s time to call in the strong, younger guys with the big, powerful “taming” devices to do the rest. Then after they come and get their part done, I shall cover the ground with landscaping fabric and in the fall peruse my catalogs to choose what new roses and clematis I want to plant in the new spot of “tamed” ground. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching is all old James thinks of when I go a’ tamin’ but he sure enjoys his braggin’ rights when people come in our yard. And who am I to deny him such pleasure?! Hee hee!
**Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. ~Hosea 10:12  ✝
**Some images via Pinterest and some from my archives